Business Manager’s Update Regarding COVID-19

  • General Office Hours will remain reduced for the week of March 30th – April 3rd, and remain closed for any walk-in traffic. See below for contact information.
  • Members continue to post back from postponed and/or completed jobs.
  • Emergency call-outs will continue to be dispatched as they occur. Some small job orders may also occur as the trades are considered essential services for the ongoing maintenance and repair of any facilities deemed essential. If you are called by dispatch you will be asked all the questions regarding your health, travel, and personal contact history and you must only accept the job if you are able. You may be asked to have your temperature taken at the gate and complete a COVID-19 health check form before being allowed onsite, and you must be both willing and able to accept the job.
  • The Health and Welfare Trustees will be scheduling an emergency conference call to discuss all aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it affects our plan and our membership. Any announcements will be made through the Board of Trustees and our administrator, Bilsland Griffith Benefit Administrators.
  • There is ongoing discussions between the Canadian Lodges, the Canadian National, and the International Representatives of the Boilermakers regarding many of our member’s questions about union dues, among other topics. We will post any new information here as it becomes available.
  • The Union has received confirmation from Energy Safety Canada that the H2S Alive, Confined Space and Fall Arrest tickets that are to expire between January 1st, 2020 and September 1st, 2020 will now remain effective until September 1st, 2020.
  • Although the effect on our shop members has been minimal up until recently, they are now being affected and we will provide further information on the shops next week.
  • Jordan is visiting the Parkland site today and will try for the Horton-YVR RAM tank site also.
  • We will continue to update the membership as needed, and please see the links below for further information, in particular the link on keeping up your mental health in these strange times …stay safe…

Fraternally,
Jordan Streng and Staff
Boilermakers Lodge 359

Helpful Links and announcements:

  • PROTECTING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

These are challenging times, and we urge you to be mindful of your mental health as well as your physical health. As a member of the BC Building Trades, you have access to the Construction Industry Rehabilitation Plan, which offers a number of options to keep your mental health in check. CIRP offers long-term counselling to assist members dealing with depression, anxiety, substance use, pain management and other mental health concerns. All services are free, and available via video conferencing during this new working-from-home “normal.” 

Visit the CIRP website, email info@constructionrehabplan.com or call 1-888-521-8611 for more information.

COVID-19 Workers Compensation Claims

Lodge 359 Members,

Please see the following information on Workers Compensation in BC:

COVID-19 Workers Compensation Claims

The following link provides updates on what is going on at the WCB with COVID-19 claims.

https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/covid-19-updates/claims

  1. There is no compensation for self-isolation before a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19.

WCB does provide benefits in the case of exposure claims but there are specific requirements that need to be met.

The RSCM Volume II sets out that four criteria must be met in order to receive compensation in the absence of conclusive evidence of a diagnosis. One of those factors is that “the effects of the exposure can be significantly mitigated or prevented by the immediate provision of post-exposure prophylaxis (“PEP”).

PEPs are applicable to exposure from diseases such as HIV, Hep-B and Rabies but not so with Covid-19. As such, compensation is not provided without a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19.

  1. There is compensation available when there is a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 but the requirements are set high.

First, there is no presumption for coverage. The WCB has developed the policy quickly and has addressed the matter through general application. This means that there is no benefit of a presumption for any particular sector of workers.

In order to qualify for compensation the following two conditions must be met:

  1. a) Evidence that the worker has contracted COVID-19, by either:
  2.  a medical diagnosis in a medical report, or
  3. non-medical factual evidence where other evidence establishes the existence of COVID-19.

and

  1. b) The nature of the worker’s employment created a risk of contracting the disease significantly greater than the ordinary exposure risk of the public at large.

The WCB has provided clarity by what is meant by significantly greater than the ordinary exposure risk of the public at large.

An exposure where a significantly greater risk would be present is an acute care hospital worker, who is treating patients who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. In these cases, they are at greater risk than the general public of contracting the disease.

A circumstance where coverage would not be provided is where a worker is in contact with people in the public at large.

  1. Compensation may also be obtained on the merits of an individual case.

Outside of the regime set up by the WCB it may also be possible to obtain compensation if a worker can demonstrate direct exposure in the course of employment. In those cases compensation may be initially denied but upon further investigation and obtaining evidence your member may be successful.

I hope this has been helpful to explain what is currently available in terms of compensation for Covid-19. Next week I will provide an overview of the OHS Regulations as those relate to the right to refuse unsafe work.

Business Manager’s Update Regarding COVID-19

  • General Office hours are being reduced to the following for the week of March 23rd through March 27th. Walk in traffic remains closed, and the training center also remains closed.
    • Monday-Thursday 8am-3pm
    • Friday 8am-12noon
  • We continue to receive emergency job orders for various contractors and clients around the Province and we are doing all we can to assist these clients in maintaining their facilities. If you are called by dispatch for an emergency job you will be asked all the questions regarding your health, travel, and personal contact history and you must only accept the job if you are able. You will probably be asked to have your temperature taken at the gate before being allowed onsite and you must be ok to go to work.
  • As Parkland Refinery has been deemed an essential service, the work to get it back online continues and we very much appreciate everyone still working long and hard hours to do just that. Please support those Boilermakers and their families any way you can.
  • YVR tank project continues at this time and will assess their job as time goes on.
  • Site C and Pembina/Prince Rupert jobs will be shut down for the Boilermakers by the end of this week.
  • All Union office staff are now on alternating days in the office and working remotely from home, or taking vacation time. For general emails please send to memberservices@boilermakers359.org and they will be forwarded accordingly. Staff are also available on their work emails. We are reviewing office staffing levels going forward and will reduce staff as its deemed necessary.
  • For anyone laid off, post your name back through Memberlink if possible. If you are not registered on Memberlink, and the posting phone line is closed, please email all your relevant posting details that would normally be given when posting to memberservices@boilermakers359.org
  • All staff including Admin and BM staff emails can be found here; https://www.boilermakers359.org/administrative-staff/
  • Please see other useful links at the bottom of this notice and stay safe out there.

Fraternally,
Jordan Streng and Staff
Boilermakers Lodge 359

Helpful Links:

WorkSafe BC Website:  https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/news-events/announcements/2020/March/covid-19-and-the-workplace

Business Manager’s Update Regarding COVID-19

  • Please be aware that we will begin limiting work being done from the general office as of today. If you need to contact us, please email memberservices@boilermakers359.org with your queries and include a contact number where you can be reached. We will continue to monitor this email through the times that contact by phone is not available. We plan to have phone and posting lines open on Monday morning at this time.

  • For anyone laid off, post your name back through Memberlink if possible. If you are not registered on Memberlink, and the posting phone line is closed, please email all your relevant posting details that would normally be given when posting to memberservices@boilermakers359.org
  • Site C work site is now being shut down except for essential and critical path work. The Boilermakers are currently not involved in those categories so we expect that all Boilermakers onsite will be sent home over the next week as the site is secured and transportation can be arranged.
  • Pembina/Horton in Prince Rupert is now being shutdown, with those Boilermakers onsite being sent home over the next week as the site is secured and transportation can be arranged.
  • We are obtaining up to date crew lists for all jobs being shut down due to COVID-19 and we will be recalling all those that were on each of those jobs as soon as they re-start. All Lodge 359 members laid off must post their names back onto our out of work list.
  • The office and training center remain closed to all walk in traffic. We are working towards a remote work arrangement for some staff in order to limit contact, but we will attempt to maintain basic operations for the near future.
  • We are communicating with BCIT and the ITA regarding the recent level 3 class and the postponed Foundations class to ensure students are informed on what is happening with their Red Seal testing and Foundations class start dates. Apprentices and students can call and speak to Jamie or Gord next week if they have any questions.
  • The International President has given the Canadian Business Managers the ability to cancel the April and May monthly Union meetings as required, and the decision has been made to cancel the April meeting. A decision on the May meeting has not been made at this time.

Please stay safe and we will continue to update as necessary.

Fraternally,

Jordan Streng and Staff
Boilermakers Lodge 359

Helpful Links:

WorkSafe BC Website:  https://www.worksafebc.com/en/about-us/news-events/announcements/2020/March/covid-19-and-the-workplace

Business Manager’s Update Regarding COVID-19

Business Manager Jordan Streng and the Union’s staff want to ensure that the members are being kept up to date on the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic are having on our membership and our work picture. We will be updating the membership through regular notices such as this and will be posting on our Website and Facebook page. Updates may also appear on the nightly job-line if they are directly related to the work picture and of an immediate nature.

Please be patient and understand that the Union, the Contractors, and the Owner/Clients are in a rapidly evolving situation and no one entity has all of the answers that we are asking at this moment. We will attempt to keep you up to date on the work, dispatch, and H&W side, but please keep informed through your local and national news feeds for all general information.

We are recommending that all members be prepared for a considerable delay to the start of the spring shutdown season, and the work and pay cheques that come along with it. Current jobs may also be postponed as employers and owners assess their individual jobs and requirements.

  • The Union’s General Office and Dispatch will remain open for now, but we are no longer allowing in person visits at the office to ensure services can continue. Please call the office at 778.369.3590, email memberservices@boilermakers359.org , or visit our Website and/or Memberlink at boilermakers359.org if you require assistance. Our H&W administrator, BG Benefits, can be reached at 1.877.926.4537.
  • Lodge 359 is participating in a regularly scheduled conference call with all Canadian Lodges and staff, being chaired by our Boilermaker National Health and Safety Director Jason McInnis, to ensure we are all following best practices and have a uniform response plan across Canada.
  • We are requiring that anyone who is feeling ill or who has travelled outside of Canada recently, refrain from accepting any dispatches to jobs for a minimum of 14 days.

  • The Harmac, Nanaimo shutdown that was scheduled for prep work to start today, with the shutdown to follow on Monday March 23, has been postponed. As we receive further information on a new start date we will advise the membership. If you were dispatched to the Harmac prep, please re-post your name under 40 hours.
  • If jobs are cancelled, postponed or current jobs are put on hold, we will adjust our recall and dispatch provisions as required, and we will ensure that those who are currently working can return to those jobs when they re-start.
  • We have posted general information and safety rules to help prevent COVID-19 from spreading rapidly in a previous post, so please read and follow those recommendations.
  • The Federal Government has removed the 1 week waiting period for EI Benefits for sick benefits. See the link here https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/corporate/notices/coronavirus.html

Please keep in touch with the website and we will post more information as it becomes available.

Fraternally,

Jordan Streng and Staff
Boilermakers Lodge 359

COVID-19 Update

In order to ensure the Boilermakers Lodge 359 General Office can continue to serve the Membership during this COVID-19 pandemic we are not allowing walk-ins to the office or the Training Center until further notice. Members can call the General Office at 778 369 3590 or email Memberservices@boilermakers359.org with any questions/concerns that they may have.

Members with concerns regarding Extended Medical Benefits and Health and Welfare please contact Bilsland Griffith at 1 877 926 4537.

The Harmac Shutdown in Nanaimo has been postponed until further notice any member that has accepted the job please post under forty.  The Boilermakers Lodge 359 will be providing more information in regards to ongoing jobs as well as future shutdowns to our website as it becomes available.

COVID-19 – CONSTRUCTION UPDATE

Due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 globally, Construction Labour Relations (CLR) and the BC Building Trades (BCBT) are proactively trying to limit the spread of infection in the workplace.

Our shared priority is the health, safety and welfare of our 35,000 members and signatory contractors.

Although the Public health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for the general population, we must all remain vigilant in order to protect public health.

Health Canada recommends the following procedures to increase proper hygiene and reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to others:

  • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food;
  • use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
  • when coughing or sneezing:
    • cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand
    • dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a lined waste basket and wash your hands afterwards;
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands

SYMPTOMS: The following are common symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Dry cough

RISK: You are at a greater risk for COVID-19 If:

  • You have recently travelled to a COVID-19 impacted area
  • You have been in close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19
  • You have been in close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness who has been to a COVID-19 impacted area

If you experience the symptoms above AND/OR you have a higher risk of developing COVID-19, please contact your health care provider. You can also call 811 to speak with a registered nurse.

**Please note that the federal government has announced changes to the Employment Insurance program waiving the mandatory one-week waiting period, allowing those who self-isolate or quarantine to apply for support immediately.

CLR and BCBT will continue to monitor the outbreak and provide guidance as directed by public health agencies.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Health Canada

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

BC Centre for Disease Control

http://www.bccdc.ca/about/news-stories/stories/2020/information-on-novel-coronavirus

World Health Organization

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019